I wanted a small 4 cyl truck with auto transmission. I bought on price and features, 4 wheel disc brakes, 5 speed auto, air, tow package, abs, traction and stability control all standard on my Ranger. On Tacoma air was extra and only drum rear brakes, Colorado also rear drum brakes. So far I've clocked 7,000 miles, average gas mileage is 23 mpg since new. Best gas mileage was 29 mpg on extended trip on the freeway. Handling feels very secure and traction control in the snow/ice really worked well-that was my main concern with a light weight rear drive truck. I don't carry very heavy loads but middling load doesn't seem to bother ride/handling acceleration.(although the preselect header says 5M I have 5A..
If you can find a good used Ford Ranger of this vintage, buy it. The only non-maintenance item that ever gave me trouble was the fuel pump. It quit at around 38K. Ford replaced it under warranty (Honolulu Ford); no questions; no cost. Truck is getting ready to turn 70K. I have the 2.3 Litre DOHC four with the 5-speed automatic (drop down menu does not let me select automatic). Did my 60K servicing at 57K; replaced the Continentals with Firestone Discovery tires (better quality); brake job done at 63K (amazing since I drive in the City and County of Honolulu which is well known for having heavy traffic). Replaced the Ford stock shocks with Monroe-Matics. Still a stiff and jounce-bouncey ride, but after all - it IS a truck! A/C still blows ice cold and I am VERY PLEASED with this little truck. I will keep this forever as most people out here keep their Rangers for many miles and many years. Impossible to find a used Ranger on Oahu; there are some in lots on Maui. A drunk driver plowed into my Ranger and it was almost totaled, however an expert body shop (approved by my insurer) did a good job on the repair and is very much roadable with no degradation in driveability or safety. This '10 Ford Ranger is one of the best vehicles I've ever owned and last Sunday (9/6/15), I got the best economy ever with 30.5 mpg. Great truck !!
Reliability, I'm sure,will be well above average. MANY Rangers on the streets, roads and freeways of Oahu (Hawaii) of all vintages. I've never heard of anyone having a bad Ford Ranger, hence one of the decisions towards my purchase. That, and the value of the features offered on the Ranger, it's looks (I don't care if it hasn't changed much in 12 years!) and the fact that it's an 'evergreen' truck with a good reputation for economy and reliability were factors in selecting this truck over its competition. I am averaging 24-25mpg in mixed city/highway driving. I have the 5A. Great truck which will undoubtedly please me. Used for play, commute and work.
Only had the truck for 2 weeks, so can't comment on reliability. Had an 05 Colorado CC Z71 2WD(poor mileage, jolting ride) an 08 Frontier V6 ext cab(very poor mileage). Got the XLT for the options and the 2.3/5M for mileage. Am very pleased with the ride(much better than Colorado/not quite as good as Frontier)Fit and finish are as good as previous trucks. Brakes(4 wheel disc) are on par with others. Power and acceleration are down from others, but is acceptable.The mileage is light years ahead of others, about 10 MPG better than both previous city and highway. I only tow light loads(flat boat/utility tlr), eng. easily handles Based on build quality, ride, mileage. I highly recommend
Having taken the Ranger on several trips I questioned the horsepower ratings made by ford. I took it to a dyno shop here in Sacramento and the truck produced 124 peak horsepower. This is about right counting drive train power lose. Ford claims 156 so at 20% drive train lose, this number, 124, is right on. Here is what I don't understand. The Ranger won't pull the same hills as the 1991 Mazda truck did. The Mazda got 27.5 miles per gallon. The ford Ranger gets 27.5 miles per gallon. So where is the progress? Ford has had 19 years to get the same gas mileage? Ford also chose to make the bed shorter, presumably to save money. I purchased the ford bedliner, now the bed cannot hold six feet.